We had a lovely trip to Montepulciano and into the countryside yesterday.
First, we headed to the Daviddi winery which produces the Vino Nobile de Montepulciano that Ekhart and I enjoyed at the enoteca last week. It was interesting as the winery was totally un-commercial, just a few small unassuming buildings with a tiny parking lot and toys and such in the yard!
We had to ring the bell for service and the madre came to the door and we also met her husband and grandson. She invited us to try several of the vintages and told us many stories about their awards and travels to the U.S. and Australia, etc. These people are not wealthy, but are happy. A severe contrast to how the wineries in Napa / Sonoma are marketed and an untold difference in terms of the economics of the industry!
Afterwards we headed into the actual city of Montepulciano and I must admit that I wasn’t all that smitten. It is nice enough, but the main street wasn’t all that charming. Cortona’s main drag is much cuter, even if geared very much to the tourists.
Bob totally showed his colors on the trip and I am now more inclined to say that there is a mean streak in him, or at least one purporting control / superiority.
It is difficult to convey in a blog post, but his comments are very critical (i.e. picking on some of our mistakes in class) and at one point I was forced to say to him that if he wasn’t going to provide anything constructive that he might as well keep his comments to himself and that if he thought he was more proficient than the rest of us that he should ask to move up to the next class rather than expect any of us to move out to a lower class (we are only high beginners for goodness sake!).
Bob speaks several languages and is picking up Italian very well but he lets the rest of us attempt the answers in class before he does so he can learn from our missteps. He then smirks at some of the things we say. For instance, Roberta was asking us about some food we enjoy and I was discussing soup (yes, this is often very controversial dialogue!) and I mentioned Chicken Noodle as a variety I enjoyed. I got the smirk and a comment about Chicken Noodle not being Italian which was totally not the point of discussion. The little derisive digs are evidencing themselves more often as he becomes overly comfortable with the class / group.
Naturally, Linda is driving him nuts but he doesn’t acknowledge the fact that she is at least trying!
Anyway, after Montepulciano we drove through the countryside and enjoyed the scenery.
All in all a very enjoyable day!
The photos need a little exposure and cropping work and I apologize for duplicates!